What Are The Penalties for a DUI with a Child Passenger in Pennsylvania?

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If you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving with a child in the car, please read on, then contact our knowledgable DUI attorney George A. Heym, Esq. to learn what the penalties are for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania.

What are the penalties for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania?

Section 3803(b)(5) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides that an individual who commits a 1st or 2nd DUI offense where a minor under the age of 18 is a passenger commits a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Having a minor under the age of 14 in the vehicle during a DUI  comes with particular consequences. Even on a first offense, this makes the driver statutorily ineligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program. Furthermore, even on a first offense (all three tiers) the offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries an 18-month driver’s license suspension.

Can I be charged for child endangerment for a DUI with a child passenger in Pennsylvania?

In short, yes, you can be charged for child endangerment for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if there is a child passenger. This is because, under Pennsylvania law, child endangerment is defined as exposing a child to danger, pain or undue suffering by willfully allowing a minor to be injured or by willfully causing or allowing a minor to be in any dangerous situation. This statute applies to a parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child under the age of 18. Furthermore, a person that employs or supervises such a person, commits an offense if he or she knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection or support.

How do you beat a DUI with a child passenger charge in Pennsylvania?

The best strategy to avoid a license suspension is to hire a qualified and experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to successfully fight your charges. Many counties in Pennsylvania have a program for certain first-time offenders called Accelerated Rehabilitated Disposition. Such an expert legal representative should argue the following:

  • Your traffic stop was unlawful
  • The arresting officer drew incorrect inferences from your odor, slurred speech, bloodshot or glassy eyes, fumbling actions, disheveled appearance or unsteady gait
  • There is no proof that you drove, operated or exercised physical control over the movement of a vehicle
  • The prosecutor has insufficient proof of impairment
  • The field sobriety tests were flawed
  • The testing equipment was improperly calibrated or malfunctioning
  • The officers had no probable cause

There are a number of innocent explanations or interpretations for your alleged misconduct. The trouble is articulating those explanations properly. Let someone well-versed in the law fight for you and your future.

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The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.

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“DUI case June 28, 2011- I extremely recommend hiring George Heym. He was entirely honest and great at spending thorough time on the phone. He gave me his personal cell phone so that any time, day or night if I was nervous or had a question about something, he would be able to answer it. Before I eve...”


“The Pennsylvania DUI legal process is much more complicated and confusing than I would expect. George made this process easy to navigate and helped to make things as straightforward as they could be for me. I was trying to deal with the legal process of getting a DUI in Pennsylvania after moving out...”